Driven by passion and an unsatisfied appetite for success, the over 100 Innovators participating in the 2023 Women in FinTech Hackathon have their priorities well set out.
It is this desire to succeed that is keeping most of the participants awake throughout the night; some turning the Hackathon venue into their temporary home, taking short naps on wooden desks and the floor before waking up to resume their financial technology solutions’ design and development.
With the 2023 Women in FinTech Hackathon entering the final and most decisive days, the Teams were introduced to minimum viable products (MVP) on Day 5.
A product Plan defines a minimum viable product, or MVP, as a product with enough features to attract early-adaption customers and validate a product idea early in the product development cycle.
According to Dorothy Kabarozi, a Full Stack Software Engineer and Facilitator of the Women in FinTech Hackathon, the creation of minimum viable products (MVPs) raises the developers’ confidence and opens multi opportunities for partnerships and possible funding ‘because creating an MVP, even if it’s a simplified version, can instil a sense of achievement and sureness.’
“In a Hackathon like this, MVPs encourage participants to think creatively and find innovative ways to address challenges. This empowerment comes from the realization that they have the capability to design solutions that can make a difference in financial inclusion, benefiting themselves and others, “Dorothy Kabarozi said.
She added: “MVPs inspire developers like the young women and men we have here to pursue further opportunities in the tech field and beyond, knowing they have the ability to contribute meaningfully. Lastly, MVPs allow participants to demonstrate the tangible impact of their ideas. This can lead to partnerships, funding opportunities, or further development to scale the solution, which in turn can have a lasting impact on financial inclusion and empowerment.”
Osbert Osamai, the Head ICT Advisory, Research & Strategy at Centenary Technology Services, was the morning mentor and presented on key skills for effective Digital Transformation, urging the teams to interest themselves in learning more support skills as these would complement their competencies in products and solutions development.
“Away from developing great solutions, you need project & product management, communication, decision-making and digital marketing skills. You need emotional intelligence to know what to say when, how and why. You must continue to learn as this will aid your growth. Importantly, continue to seek collaborations and possible partnerships.”
Lyn Tukei, the Communications and Public Relations Manager at Capital Markets Authority, Uganda, took on the PR and Marketing Strategy training. In her afternoon presentation, she noted that successful brands are built by consumers, not companies.
“Ultimately, it’s the way consumers perceive a brand that defines it. It doesn’t matter what you think your brand promises. The only thing that matters is how consumers perceive your brand,” Tukei said, adding:
“You need to work to develop consumer perceptions that accurately reflect your brand or your brand is doomed to limited growth potential.”
Running for the 4th consecutive year, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is part of the broader Women in FinTech initiative that also includes a Summit and Incubator program; all implemented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop Foundation, INFITX, Cyberplc Academy, Crosslake Technologies and Ideation Corner and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The 2023 Women in FinTech Hackathon will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on 18th August 2023 where the best-performing teams and individuals will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money. This will be in addition to the winners automatically qualifying for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run from September until December 2023.